It Takes Two

Julie Davis , Associate Campus Pastor, Willow Crystal Lake | April 25, 2024

Unless the Lord builds the house,
    the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the guards stand watch in vain. 
Psalm 127:1

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 
Ephesians 2:10

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service 
1 Corinthians 3:6-9

I love reading these three passages together! Go back and read them again, slowly… (I’ll wait!) When you read these verses together, does anything stand out to you?

When I read these verses, I’m reminded of two things: One, God created each of us to do great things, specific things just for us to do. And two, it’s up to Him to make the work that we do for Him great. Did you know that? For me, that’s a great relief!

I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about what I can do and how I’ll do it. I love to dream and plan and figure out how to bring that dream to fruition. The problem is, it hardly ever works out the way I’ve planned. You see, even though I have good intentions and my heart may be to do something that I think is “good,” I don’t always have all the details. I don’t know what I don’t know. But, I have something better than knowledge; I have a sovereign, just, and merciful God who does know. He’s in the details, using the gifts and talents that He gave us to do the work that He has planned.Our role is to trust Him and obey where He leads. This truth has helped me learn to be okay with my plans not working out as I thought they should. 

A few years ago, God opened up an opportunity in McHenry County for Willow Crystal Lake to host a community outreach program in response to the needs of the homeless in our area due to Covid. I quickly went about planning some simple things like showers, food and basic supplies for those in need in our county, alongside a few others in the community who also wanted to help. What started as a monthly outreach to unsheltered individuals in 2020 has become a beautiful collaboration among faith-based organizations, county agencies, and non-profit organizations, all working together to meet the needs of our community each and every week! The Community Resource Day was built on those two things our verses highlighted today—leaning into the gifts God gives each of us and then depending on God Himself to make it grow! What started out as a service for maybe five individuals that first month now regularly serves 50-65 individuals and families each week.

Next Steps

  • Time to take inventory! What gifts and talents has God created you with that He is inviting you to use for His glory? Take this spiritual gift inventory for some additional insight. 
  • Remember, it takes two! Your work alone won’t produce the good results that you are looking for. Ask God to be the leader and make something great out of what you bring. He’s got you!